Aga Cooker: a joy to cook with or a $$$ PITA?
I'm still In the planning stages of our new build, focusing on the kitchen at the moment. Previously I was entertaining the idea of a open kitchen/dining/living space, though I was exploring options to solve the issues caused by an open kitchen. I've now shifted gears and now I am leaning towards a completely different floorplan, one with a much more closed off kitchen.
In addition to the floorplan being different, the house itself is quite a departure from previous floor plans we were considering. At the moment I am really liking a Williamsburg colonial style by William Poole. I still have plans to introduce a more casual, rustic, northwest sort of cabin feel, but the house definitely has a more period look to it. I'm not going for a period reproduction though. Much more casual, even transitional somewhat.
However,I really want a stove that looks appropriate. I initially fell in love with an Esse wood burning cookstove (would look so lovely placed In a large stone hearth right in the kitchen), but it would be mostly for looks and the esse ironhearts are pricey for wood stoves, plus I'm probably too lazy to deal with a real wood burning stove. I then came across the Aga cooker and I'm smitten with it! Absolutely in love! Not only is it pretty but I could use to to cook all of our meals.
Not sure what color or size, but I do love their look and I'm attracted to their quirkiness I think. I'm just wondering though, if that quirkiness will turn into hassle and if I would end up disliking this very expensive stove.
One consideration is that we are building on several acres and the lot we like does not have natural gas. I could go with propane (if say, I decide to just go the bluestar route which would probably be my second choice, maybe) but Im not sure I want to deal with propane. One alternative would be to go solar and the Aga cooker comes in an electric version that looks nearly identical to the gas version. I'm not certain, but I don't think there are any other electric stoves that have a vintage look. The whole solar thing will require a lot more research in my part, not even sure it is feasible. I do like the option though.
Oh, and it may help to know that I stay at home with my young kids and I generally cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for our family which right now consists of four people, but will likely be six in the next few years. I have the time to mess around with this sort of stove, but I don't want to end up hating it because I can't get a batch if cookies to turn out. I cook mostly from scratch. I do a lot of roasts, stews, soups and braises. I also do a fair amount saut�ed and pan fried dishes. Right now I don't do a whole lot of serious baking, but I do aspire to. I cook for extended family about once a month and several times a year I host various parties. In our new home I plan to entertain quite a bit more.
One random reason I think I'd love this stove is because I think the size of the top plate (either the boiling or simmer one) would be perfect for my Le creuset 5qt braiser, which is something like 13 " across on the bottom and is really too big for my current gas range. Despite the fact that it is too large, I use it anyway with mixed results because I love how much it holds. I would LOVE to be able to use my braiser successfully.
Your thoughts on this stove? Will it be a joy to cook on, or a major pain in the rear?